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Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

A submersible that disappeared over the weekend during a dive to the wreckage of the Titanic may have just a few hours of oxygen remaining, as rescue teams continue a desperate search of the North Atlantic for the missing vessel. The area is roughly twice the size of Connecticut and more than two miles deep.

The submersible, called the Titan, contains a finite amount of oxygen, with no way of generating more. Once it is consumed, the five passengers on board would be left without breathable air. The craft is estimated to have started out on Sunday with about a 96-hour supply of breathable air for what should have been a two-and-a-half-hour journey.

Banging noises heard from beneath the waves of the North Atlantic yesterday and on Tuesday have become the focus of the search: Remotely operated vehicles were seeking the source of the sounds, and a team of experts is examining the noises to determine if they might be from the missing vessel, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Ukrainian leaders are trying to tamp down expectations for the country’s counteroffensive, which is now in its third week, saying that the fight to expel Russian troops would be a hard slog, not a lightning advance. Ukraine has so far recaptured only a smattering of villages in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions, with progress often measured in yards, not miles.

“Some people want some sort of a Hollywood movie, but things don’t really happen that way,” Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, said yesterday. He insisted that he remained confident and suggested that expectations of rapid success were unrealistic.

Military analysts have said that it would take weeks or months, not days, to gauge the success of Ukraine’s offensive, and warned that the fight would be long and bloody. But anticipation over the operation, including among allies, has been building as Ukraine spent months amassing powerful Western-supplied weapons and training tens of thousands of soldiers for the campaign.

Concerns: Officials in Kyiv and some of their supporters abroad worry that if the long-anticipated counteroffensive does not produce significant gains, then Ukraine’s Western allies might lose patience with pouring billions of dollars into the war, and pressure Kyiv to reach a negotiated settlement that would leave Russia holding vast tracts of conquered lands.

Estimates: Rebuilding Ukraine’s shattered infrastructure will cost at least $400 billion, according to economists and Ukrainian officials.


At least 37 people were injured, four critically, after an explosion tore through an apartment building in the Fifth Arrondissement of Paris, partly collapsing the structure, according to the French authorities. The cause of the explosion, which rattled the neighborhood with a loud boom, was not immediately clear.

More than 300 firefighters deployed to the scene and were able to prevent the flames from spreading to neighboring buildings, which were nonetheless “destabilized” and evacuated as a precaution, officials said.

Videos and pictures on social media appeared to show the top of the building blown off and the street below strewn with debris. Some witnesses said that they had smelled gas shortly before the blast.

An uncanny synchronicity arises from watching “The Wizard of Oz” while listening to “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd. If you start the album at just the right time, the music and lyrics align just so with the movie’s visuals.

Charlie Savage, a Washington correspondent for The Times, has an odd connection to this pairing. In 1995, at the age of 19, he wrote the first article about it as a summer intern at a local paper. “I didn’t come up with the idea of pairing these two works,” he writes. “But in a strange sort of accident, I played a key early role in its becoming a cultural phenomenon.”

Haim Roet, a Holocaust survivor who memorialized the millions of Jewish victims of the Nazis by speaking their names, died last month at 90.

Is Saudi Arabia funding Chelsea? The Premier League club’s attempt to raise funds has also raised eyebrows.

The soccer superstar’s mother: Kylian Mbappé’s mother, Fayza Lamari, is one of the sport’s most powerful women and one of its most powerful deal makers.

From The Times: A two-day camp trains current and former N.B.A. players in the lucrative art of broadcasting, podcasting and throwing verbal bombs on camera.

Every fall, monarch butterflies fly more than 2,000 miles from Canada down to central Mexico. Less than a third survive the trip. Researchers found a shared trait in those that make it: The edges of their orange-and-black wings tend to have slightly more white spots.

“No one even knew what these spots were for in monarchs,” said Andy Davis, a biologist at the University of Georgia. “All of a sudden, it seems like they’re really important.”

The researchers’ working theory is that the spots reduce drag by creating pockets of heating and cooling on the wing edge, which could create tiny eddies of rising air. The difference is subtle: The successful butterflies were only about 3 percent spottier. But the scientists suspect that slightly reducing drag could still improve flight capabilities — with potential consequences for aircraft design.

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